赵小兰谈美国华人当前处境 / Secretary Chao Speaks at ILF 20th Anniversary Gala

【波士顿双语网华盛顿讯】国际领袖基金会(International Leadership Foundation) 7月25日在华府首都希尔顿酒店庆祝成立20周年,美国交通部部长赵小兰等嘉宾在内的近500来宾出席,场面盛大。






下面是赵小兰部长在庆祝活动中致词的中文和英文稿。

徐绍钦博士(Paul),谢谢您的邀请和致词。在庆祝国际领袖基金会成立二十周年之际,我谨向基金会与董继玲女士表达我诚挚的祝贺。还在私营企业任职时,我就与峰田部长(Norm Mineta)一起担任过国际领袖基金会的联合主席。过去20年,国际领袖基金会为美国主流社会的亚太裔年轻人在职业和个人领域发展中做出了巨大贡献。

国际领袖基金会的颁奖晚宴一直以来举办得都非常精彩,在此我们庆祝并表彰对我们国家做出杰出贡献的亚太裔美国人。每年都有许多来自不同地方的优秀领导人前来参加,这些领导人一直都致力于帮助亚裔美国人社群。今晚也无例外,我也想向来自政府公共部门,私营部门和非盈利机构的人士表达祝贺,对你们表示认同。同时也非常感谢玛丽·密尔本女士(Mary Millben),让我们再次听到了《美丽的阿美利加》(America the Beautiful)优美的演绎。

众所周知,在我从事政府公共服务的职业生涯中,我一直都致力于帮助亚太裔美国人与其他少数民族群体融入到美国主流社会。我也非常注重亚裔美国人在各个领域所取得的成就。

今年的五月十号,我有机会在美国犹他州的海角峰上认可并且答谢了一万两千名中国劳工。他们在150年前为帮助建设美国最大基础设施之一的跨州际铁路付出巨大的牺牲,做出了卓越的贡献。作为美国历史上第一位拥有华裔血统的交通部部长,我感到非常荣幸。这一万两千名华工的经历令人深感遗憾,他们没有机会将他们的家人带来美国,也最终没有机会成为美国公民。

美国已经学习并且取得许大进步,现在的美国是一个多元化的国家。最近的调查显示,美国有百分之七的人口是亚裔,几乎达到两千三百万。我们的社群逐步扩大,我们也不断为美国经济和文化发展做出贡献。众所周知,我们的经济日趋繁荣。本届政府的减税提案和解除管制的政策都从各个层面帮助了经济发展。美国的经济在2019年第一季度,增加了百分之三点一。国家普遍失业率也降到了50年最低百分之三点七。亚裔美国人的普遍失业率更是达到了历史上最低百分之二点一的记录。亚太裔美国人已经在美国主流社会各行各业中成长起来。

亚裔美国人在美国军事上也有杰出的表现。2019年的1月29日,我有幸参加了为第二次世界大战华裔美国军人颁发国会金质奖章的颁奖典礼。亚太裔美国人在美国主流社会中所取得的进步证明了我们社区所珍视的价值观,尤其是我们对于家庭和睦,努力工作和优质教育的重视。在我们认同并庆祝为美国社会所做出贡献的同时,也请允许我提出我从不同的社会与经济层面里诸多华裔美国人中听到关于亚裔美国人刻板印象而产生的负面影响和担忧。

在中美两国关系日渐复杂化的今天,许多华裔美国人对于他们的种族身份会如何影响他们在美国的发展有些许质疑和烦恼。我的家庭在近日一个恶毒的党派纷争中变成了被攻击的对象。所有的这一切都与我的种族密切相关。如果我的姓氏是史密斯(Smith),或者我的家庭来自英国来,这一切都将不会发生。我因为携带我的父亲出席一些社交和正式场合,庆典以及与我父亲一同参加了一些非政府的个人活动而被所谓的「主流」媒体攻击。这些场合对于美国内阁成员并不罕见。这也反应了亚裔传统价值观中对父母的尊重和孝道长期被误解。

随着我们的社群日渐增长,我们有机会来解释并且弘扬我们亚裔的价值观。我曾经因为过于期望融入美国社会而对此有过犹豫和不情愿,也许是因为我的年龄和资历或者我们国家正在慢慢变得更加包容与多元,让我有了勇气说出这些话:
1. 要坚强。
2. 我将竭力为我们的社会服务。
3. 我们一定要勇敢来投入我们的精力,分享我们的文化价值观,以帮助美国成为一个更美好的国家。

感谢你们今晚的到来,对你们为我们社群做出的贡献表达最诚挚的谢意。祝大家有一个美好愉快的夜晚。




Remarks Prepared for Delivery by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao On the 20th Anniversary of the International Leadership Foundation 2019 Leadership and Business Conference Scholarship Awards Gala
Thursday, July 25, 2019, Washington, D.C.

Thank you, Dr. Hsu [Paul], for that warm welcome.

Congratulations to ILF and its founder Chiling Tong on its 20th anniversary. Along with Norm Mineta, I have been an honorary co-chair of the ILF when I was in the private sector. In the 20 years since its founding, ILF has flourished and offered so many enriching experiences in mainstream America to so many Asian Pacific American young people in their career and personal development.

The ILF galas are always such wonderful occasions to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Asian Pacific Americans to our country. They are also so impressive because they are attended by so many distinguished leaders from across the country who are forging new paths for Asian Pacific Americans in their communities. Tonight is no exception – and I want to also congratulate the Asian Pacific American leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors being recognized tonight. And many thanks to Mary Millben for delighting us again this year with such a beautiful rendition of “America the Beautiful.”

As you know, throughout my career in public service, I have worked to help Asian Pacific Americans—and other traditionally under-served communities—access opportunities in mainstream America. And I have made consistent efforts to highlight the contributions of Asian Pacific Americans.

This year on May 10, 2019 at Promontory Summit, Utah, I had the unique privilege to fully acknowledge and recognize the contributions and sacrifices of the 12,000 laborers of Chinese heritage who helped build one of America’s greatest pieces of infrastructure: the transcontinental railroad — 150 years after its completion. It was especially noteworthy that this tribute was made by the first Secretary of Transportation of Chinese ancestry.

The achievements of these 12,000 Chinese laborers was even more poignant given that they did not have the opportunity to bring their families with them or to become citizens of the United States.

America has moved forward since those days to become the diverse country it is today. The most recent estimate shows the Asian Pacific American community is nearly 7% of our country’s population—or about 23 million strong.

As our community has grown in numbers, we are increasingly contributing to the economic vitality and cultural diversity of our country. As you may know, our economy is booming. The tax cuts and deregulatory policies of this Administration have jump started the economy. The U.S. economy grew 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019. The national unemployment rate of 3.7 percent is about the lowest in 50 years. The unemployment rate within the Asian American community is at 2.1 percent, the lowest ever since this figure was recorded.

Asian Pacific Americans have branched out to every field in mainstream America. And Asian Pacific Americans have also distinguished themselves in military service. On January 29, 2019, I participated in a moving ceremony conferring the Congressional Gold Medal on the Chinese American veterans of World War II.

The progress made by Asian Pacific Americans in mainstream America is a testament to the values our community holds dear, especially our emphasis on strong families, hard work and the value of a quality education.

As we authenticate and celebrate our contributions to this country, let me mention an issue which I have heard from many Chinese Americans across all social and economic strata and that is the growing anxiety at the specter of ethnic profiling. As the relationship between the U.S. and China becomes more complex, many Chinese-Americans are growing increasingly anxious about how their ethnicity affects their acceptance in the United States.

My own family was recently the subject of malicious political partisan attacks that would not have occurred if our last name were “Smith” and if we came from England. I’ve been criticized by the “mainstream”media for including my father at some official appearances and social or ceremonial events, and for attending certain non-governmental events in my personal capacity with my father. Occasions such as these are not unusual for Cabinet members. This also reflects a deliberate mischaracterization of our Asian value of traditional respect for our parents -filial piety.

As our community grows in numbers, we have the chance to explain and inform others of our Asian values. I used to be reluctant or shy to do so, in an effort to blend in. Perhapsit’s age or maybe it’s because our country is becoming more diverse which is more emboldening…

I have a few words:
1) Be strong.
2) I will always fight for our community.
3) Our community must not be afraid in asserting our contributions to America, and in sharing our cultural values and how they make our country stronger.

So kudos to you for being here tonight, and to what you do in your communities to highlight the talents of our community and its contributions to mainstream America. Good night.



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